Post by WH241 on Sept 16, 2023 22:52:52 GMT
Elizabeth Line (Class 345) Custom House - Farringdon: Very quick journey, it's exactly what the Elizabeth Line is about. The train turned up within a few minutes and it was almost in the blink of an eye I was at Farringdon
Metropolitan Line (S Stock) Farringdon - Kings Cross St Pancras: Nothing to report, just the one stop. Was effectively just my way of getting to Kings Cross. Impressed with how frequent the SSR lines are these days.
LNER (Intercity 225) Kings Cross - Leeds: I arrived at Kings Cross a lot earlier than I had anticipated and as a result had a lot of time to kill. I'd overcompensated in how long I would think it would take to get to Kings Cross. I'm unsure why they don't announce the platform numbers earlier than 10min before departure. Surely having as much time as possible for passengers to board trains is the way forward rather than getting a stampede just a few minutes before. The train itself was nice, the seats were very comfortable and far better than that of an Azuma. Was a good opportunity to catch up on Netflix and to enjoy the views out of the window.
Had some errands to do in Leeds throughout the day.
TransPennine Express (Class 802 Nova 1) Leeds - Manchester Piccadilly: Had something to do in Manchester, and thought I might as well do it as the ticket there wasn't expensive and the return train ticket to London straight from Leeds was going to set me back near double of the outbound ticket. These 802s are very nice trains, the weather yesterday made me really appreciate the climate control and it was nice to see the hills that we were passing through. The train was full throughout with every seat reserved. It took around 40ish minutes to get to Manchester. A nice train ride apart from the fact we were waiting a while at Leeds and a 'Delayed' sign turned up with no information about the train at all. Passengers were getting restless but a few were mentioning that the train would eventually turn up as it happens frequently. All well and good having a lovely train, but I'd be fuming if this was a frequent occurrence. Our arrival at Manchester was slightly late but we did make up some time, arriving there only around 15 minutes late.
Had some things to do in Manchester. A train ticket back from Manchester with Avanti also was going to set me back a small future so while planning the trip I decided to get home another cheaper way.
Metrolink (Bombardier M5000) Manchester Piccadilly - Cornbrook, Cornbrook - Wythenshawe Park, Wythenshawe Park - Manchester Airport: Had a few smaller trips on this to get to Manchester Airport while knocking off things I had to get done while up North. Have to say the Metrolink network is superb and has always been there for me in Manchester. An amazing service and can't wait for everything to be integrated into the Bee Network when the time comes. My favourite feature on this is something small, but something that does make a difference and that's the ability to effectively 'pre-book' a door to automatically open at a stop by pressing the open button while the tram is still moving. It's such a small feature but saves that extra second that can make all the difference. The only complaint I'd have is that at some cases the tram can feel excessively slow, but I'd imagine with the intensity of services in the centre they have to keep to speed to ensure that there's not massive queues at the tram stops.
British Airways (Airbus A320-200) Manchester Airport Terminal 3 - London Heathrow Terminal 5: This was far cheaper than the train was going to be, took me 10 minutes at most to clear security and for me to have enough time to grab a bite to eat at KFC while in the airport. The flight was delayed leaving London, with the plane only arriving at around 8pm which was the scheduled departure. The crew did an amazing job turning around the flight in that quick time and also the ground staff for getting the plane cleaned really quickly. We left at 20:25 and arrived in London at 21:17. Had a straight flight path in and straight into Terminal 5a, there as a slight delay connecting the bridge but I stepped off the aircraft at 21:25 and I was out of the airport at 21:27. Domestic landings are far easier with no need to clear customs and if you only have cabin baggage you're straight out of the door. Did keep a vague track of the competing train being the 20:15 off Piccadilly which didn't arrive in London until an hour earlier, and that's bearing in mind my flight was delayed. Unless you're on the very far outskirts of North London it's clear the plane is what's going to be the faster option, and in this case considerably cheaper too. In theory you'd only need to be at the airport around half an hour prior to departure depending on security queues which isn't going to be much different (I'd hope) to the advance timing people give to arriving at a train station. Not to mention my flight was a night one, so the majority of the passengers were London bound with only a few connecting onto other destinations such as Abuja and Jo'burg which are late night departures out of Heathrow. Not to mention we got served a snack and a drink complimentary too.
Elizabeth Line (Class 345) Heathrow Terminal 5 - Ilford: Nothing special, was a relatively fast journey as we went non stop from H&H to West Ealing.
Route EL1 (LT9**) Ilford Hill - Thames View/Christ Church: Can't have a day out without using a bus at least once! Nothing too special about this but was a nice quick journey from Ilford.
I don't do out of London UK trips often, but this simply showed the issues transport faces. Ticketing is too complicated and the rail fares cost far too much money, yet a plane which burns tonnes of fuel can provide a cheaper ticket than a train which runs on electricity. There's some chronic unreliability in the North with both TPE and Northern. Also it presents a very valid case for HS2, the plane was so much quicker to a point it negated the security queues and the travel to Heathrow. If HS2 was running the train would undeniably be the faster option and the more easier option. The Elizabeth Line has revolutionised journey times, making Heathrow a far more connected airport and one that's so much faster to now get to from Central London, and also from the outer sections of London.
This is probably one of the most impressive days travel I have read on here!